Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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December 6, 2012

City facing suit over 911 response


Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Meanwhile, a police dispatcher tried twice to summon South Lockport Volunteer Fire Co., the next-closest E-911 responder, but got no reply and moved on to contacting Wrights Corners.

Call records show the Wrights Corners ambulance arrived at 188 West Ave. — 0.35 miles from City Hall, where police and firefighters are based — 26 minutes after Mrs. Lombardi's husband called 911.

Relating to the incident, in mid-October, the civilian-led Fire Board ordered demotions for the two officers in charge, but that "discipline" can't be imposed until the officers have been through a hearing that's comparable to a trial. Those hearings have not yet been scheduled, the sources said.

Arajs' notice of claim does not list specific monetary damages being sought from the city.

The claim is filed by Arajs as executor of her mom's estate, but in reality the "estate" would sue and collect any award. Alderman John Lombardi acknowledged he's part of that estate, along with his brother and two sisters.

Being a potential beneficiary of litigation against the city is "awkward" for him as an alderman, but not as a grieving son, Lombardi said in an interview Thursday.

"If this ends up going to court, there may be ramifications for me (as an elected official). ... Some people may think it's about money. It's not," he said. "Mom didn't get what she deserved. What happened to her, I don't want to see happen to anyone else, ever."

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